Branding Insights

Wild, REI and the Power of Product Placement

27 Mar , 2015  

Wild

Last week I was in Europe teaching in Germany and Denmark. On the flight home I finished Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild and then watched the movie. I recommend both. Two brands get special recognition in Wild: Snapple and REI. Outdoor retailer REI particularly stands out. In the movie, Strayed struggles with blisters because her boots […]

Brands in the News

Apple Watch and Pay: Searching for the Benefit

13 Mar , 2015  

Apple Watch

Apple is rolling out two big innovations this year: Apple Watch and Apple Pay. These new products will be important growth drivers. Of course, that assumes they will be successful. Most people think the both products will do well. After Apple’s press conference this week, business and technology writers celebrated the watch. People are excited […]

Brands in the News

Cadillac’s Curious Start

5 Mar , 2015  

Cadillac

GM is trying to rebuild Cadillac, again. While the brand has a long history, it is struggling today as it deals with tough competition in premium autos. It now ranks #4 in the luxury segment, far behind BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. More important, the associations around Cadillac aren’t positive. Many people think of the brand […]

Branding Insights

Spirit Airlines: The Power of a Clear Strategy

23 Feb , 2015  

Spirit Airlines

This weekend I had the opportunity to fly on Spirit Airlines for the first time. My assessment: the company has a terrific strategy, but the branding needs some work. I hadn’t planned on flying Spirit, but last week I spent a few days skiing with my family in Breckenridge, Colorado (and dislocated my shoulder in the process, but […]

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Super Bowl Advertising

Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review: 2015 Results and Analysis

2 Feb , 2015  

Avocados from Mexico

The 2015 Super Bowl featured serious, emotional advertising. While the event usually tends to skew more towards humor, this year the laughs were in short supply. Overall the advertising was strong. Marketers are clearly focusing on creating spots that will resonate broadly and build both sales and the brand. Still, this year had its highs […]

Super Bowl Advertising

Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review: The Results

2 Feb , 2015  

McDonalds

McDonald’s won the 2015 Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review. Almost 70 Kellogg MBA students reviewed all the spots and put McDonald’s at the top of the list. Here are the grades. I will publish a full analysis later today. Grade: A McDonald’s Always Budweiser and Bud Light Clash of Clans Coke Fiat Grade: B Avocados […]

Super Bowl Advertising

The Super Bowl Social Media Challenge

1 Feb , 2015  

Social media

Today I’ll be tweeting during the Super Bowl, commenting on the ads and the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review. You can follow me: @timothycalkins Many and perhaps all of the advertisers will be commenting on Twitter as well, hoping to engage people and get as much impact as possible from their Super Bowl investment. They […]

Super Bowl Advertising

Four Super Bowl Spots That Missed on Linkage

30 Jan , 2015  

EDS

One of the most difficult things for a Super Bowl advertiser to get right is linkage. It isn’t enough to develop a clever commercial that stands out and is memorable. You have to link the creative idea to the brand. If linkage isn’t strong, the ad simply won’t work very well. People will remember the […]

Super Bowl Advertising

The Gender Super Bowl

29 Jan , 2015  

Men Women

The Super Bowl reflects American society. This year, the American population is working through issues related to gender. Super Bowl advertisers study the U.S. population for months, trying to understand what is significant and what people are thinking about. They then develop ads that build on and reflect these insights. The ads you see on the Super […]

Super Bowl Advertising

Go Daddy Dodges a Bullet

28 Jan , 2015  

Go Daddy Puppy

Earlier this week Professor Derek Rucker and I wrote an article for Fortune highlighting four Super Bowl spots that never should have run. GoDaddy was about to secure a second spot on that list, setting up next year’s article on five spots that never should have run. Yesterday afternoon, however, GoDaddy pulled its ad. The company […]